Want to farm?

12-Month, Farmer-Led Training Program

Hybrid for 2021-2022


*Please be sure to submit your Farm Beginnings application before completing the scholarship application.

Farm Beginnings is training the next generation of farmers in the many skills that are required to start and expand a successful farm business: passion, clear goals, production experience, financial and marketing know-how, and more. Farm Beginnings® will help you build these skills through one year of farmer-led training, mentoring, and networking.  We support individuals to clarify your goals and strengths, develop agricultural skills and grow profitable, equitable and ecologically sound farm businesses. We use a holistic management frame, farmer-led classroom sessions, on-farm tours, mentoring and an extensive farmer network. Woven into the curriculum are the topics of equity and justice in the food systems, including examples of realistic ways to approach these within the scope of your business models. Guided by our commitment to social justice, our programming is led by farmers and mentors active in food, farming or social justice. By empowering people with skills, knowledge, and access to resources, together we can build a more diverse, equitable food system that enriches the environment and creates a thriving food and farming community.

Although students do not need to own land, some farming or production experience is required to get the most out of the program.

Program Details

 2021-2022 Farm Beginnings® Farmer Training includes:

-- Winter Whole Farm Planning Course
(October – March)

-- ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference

-- OGS Spring Conference

-- Mentorship with an experienced Farmer Mentor
15 hours (February/ March – September)

-- Production Training
45 hours (April – October):

-- WNC CRAFT tours on sustainable farms around WNC

--Field Days with regional partners Living Web Farms and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Incubator Farm

-- One-year WNC CRAFT Farmer Network membership



The connections that we have created at New Roots through Farm Beginnings® is what we cherish the most. During this program, many different farmers took the time to share their stories, mistakes, successes and business models with us. These stories helped us in making many of our own first-time decisions. Now, we have a network of dear friends whom we can call on if we ever have a problem, need assistance, or just simply to talk, vent, and relate.

New Roots Market Garden, Krista Wesch and Stephen Rosenthal

Farm Beginnings® Graduate

We are so appreciative to the Farmer Programs team [at OGS]! From the beginning and throughout the interactions we’ve had over the course of the program, you have helped us feel so supported and confident. Thank you!

Knate Galaviz

Farm Beginnings® Graduate

Farm Beginnings® Farmer Training is approved by the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) as an Education Vendor. As a Farm Beginnings® Graduate, your training counts as a year of farm management experience when you apply for a farmland loan through the Farm Service Agency.

For questions, please contact our Director of Programs & Human Resources, Nicole DelCogliano, at nicole@organicgrowersschool.org

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: Blooming Prairie Foundation, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, Cornell Douglas Foundation, Harry Chapin Foundation, New Visions Foundation, Patagonia, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, UNFI Foundation, Walnut Cove Members Association, WNC Bridge Foundation, and USDA-NIFA Beginning  Farmer and Rancher Foundation. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Buchi,  Living Web Farms, and Gaia Herbs. Our Media Sponsors are WNCW, Asheville FM and Blue Ridge Public Radio.